Dr.Sticks

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Alright; So I wanted to start a thread here on the ideal medical student..(yes I know that there are a lot of threads regarding this, it's not one of those threads read on)

If you were to build your application as if you built a lego figure what stats and extra curricular activities would you give yourself?
-----------------------------------
I researched this extensively, stalked goro(in a non-creepy way), read stats tables, and stalked the what are my chances threads.
From the AAMC table; In 2014 there were 49,480 applicants with an average GPA of 3.55, and 28.6 MCAT
The average Matriculant had a 3.69 GPA and a 31.4 MCAT
FYI only 20,343 got in out of the 49,480 that applied
So 41.1% got into medical school after applying..
With those stats on hand, and information I harvested from student doctor/other sources
If I was to build this like legos, I would have extensive volunteer work, research, leadership experience, 3.8+ gpa, and a MCAT of at least 520
I think ideally I should have at least 3,000 clinical volunteer hours, and 1500 non-clinical volunteer hours. Volunteer work that actually means something to me btw, not just to get into medical school..
So
3.8 GPA, 520 MCAT minimum, and over 4,000 hours of volunteering work, and at least 3 years of research. That is going to be my application goal when I apply.. the stats are slightly above average, what would make the application stand out is the extra curricular work. Which is why I have already started working on them.
--------------------------------------------
My Actual Application:
Over 50 volunteer hours so far(clinical), obtaining more volunteer positions, trying to be an EMT, looking for non-clinical work, and aiming to study hard. Going to try to get into research in spring..
I'm only a Freshman.. Maybe I'm over thinking this? Not sure.. But whatever.. I like volunteering where I volunteer currently.
I did start volunteering a couple weeks after I graduated High School.... (and no, none of this volunteer work was for HS, or during HS.. It's all college student oriented)
 
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4.0 GPA
45 MCAT
10,000 hours volunteer
4 years of research, groundbreaking pubs
Captain of D1 football team (drafted first round in NFL draft)
Captain of D1 swim team
Captain of D1 basketball team (drafted first round in NBA draft)
Went to Kenya and cured cancer
Five star army general
Letter of recommendations from: some really prestigious doctor/Bill Clinton/Oprah/Jesus/Leonardo DiCaprio
 
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Dr.Sticks

Dr.Sticks

2+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2014
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Pre-Medical
4.0 GPA
45 MCAT
10,000 hours volunteer
4 years of research, groundbreaking pubs
Captain of D1 football team (drafted first round in NFL draft)
Captain of D1 swim team
Captain of D1 basketball team (drafted first round in NBA draft)
Went to Kenya and cured cancer
Five star army general
Letter of recommendations from: some really prestigious doctor/Bill Clinton/Oprah/Jesus/Leonardo DiCaprio
Hmm

Not sure how doable 10,000 hours would be..
4,000 is my ideal really though.. It turns out to be 20 hours of volunteer work a week. Not a lot considering the fact you could do 30 during summer..
Fortunately I'm self employed so I got more time.
But hey if you can juggle 53 hours of volunteer work a week along with classes and everything that's awesome!! I know I couldn't! I'd need some time for my hobbies like hiking .
 
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Dr.Sticks

Dr.Sticks

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Not with that attitude.
TO be honest I would still volunteer if I wasn't interested in medical school. I'm a big advocate for community involvement, and strongly believe in it. That's the main reason I do it.. I just love being able to give back to the community.
 

W19

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TO be honest I would still volunteer if I wasn't interested in medical school. I'm a big advocate for community involvement, and strongly believe in it. That's the main reason I do it.. I just love being able to give back to the community.
We believe you, but it's not us that you have to convince.
 
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Dr.Sticks

Dr.Sticks

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We believe you, but it's not us that you have to convince.
Well you don't have to believe me :p
I just hope whoever reads my application several years down the road believes me..
 

efle

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3.8 GPA, 520 MCAT minimum, and over 4,000 hours of volunteering work, and at least 3 years of research.
This reads like a satire of SDN neuroticism.

GPA isn't crazy...except when you're planning to somehow do part time research and also rack up 4,000 hours of volunteering. 520+ = 37+ = far higher than you need to feel good about your odds with the rest of app in order.
 

Caffein3

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This is one of the most outlandish posts I've ever seen on SDN.

OP, you don't need 4000 hours of volunteering, 98%tile MCATs, etc. Find what you love...dedicate yourself to it. Find love in giving back to others and accrue as many hours come from it. Life/college is not an application process, it's a development process. If you're end goal is just getting into medical school, you're in for a bad time.

EDIT:
Rereading the OP, I guess you're proposing a hypothetical applicant made of "medical legos" to speak.

The ideal applicant is one who is mature, who is smart, knows their passion, understands health systems and diversity, has social skills, and has thought long and hard about their reasons for being a physician (and is excited about it!). Yes stats and ECs matter, but you'll get straight up rejected if your entire life is dedicated to blindly building a laundry list of ECs just for med school.
 
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Gibbward

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520 MCAT and thousands of clinical volunteer experience?!? You're going to give a lot of SDN pre-meds heart attacks with that kind of thinking!!

Get involved in activities other than the obvious pre-med ECs. Join a club. Be a leader on campus somehow. Get a hobby. You know, do something that can show what makes you unique and makes you seem like a normal person and not some pre-med robot.
 

efle

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ImmunoLove

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OK I think OP is starting his college career with the goal of getting into med school, and this "ideal lego med app" is a fun/different approach to planning out the next few years with concrete goals (which actually is necessary in success). Yeah it's a little "neurotic" but I think starting off early and planning accordingly leads to success (and less stress/neuroticism in the long run). So that said (and let's assume the candidate has the maturity, self-reflection, ethics, altruism, enjoys science etc), other aspects of the application include:

1. Academic excellence
2.Research
3. Clinical experience/shadow
4. Volunteerism (med and non-med)
5. Artistic endeavor (eg musical instrument)
6. Athletic endeavor (e.g. team sport)
7. Cool hobbies that make you not-an-automaton (seriously, very very important. No one wants to work with a robot, and no one wants to be treated with one, either)

...ideally all laced with altruism/leadership etc.

So you've got a template for yourself that is quite nice already. I think 4000 hrs volunteering is overkill (1500 should suffice over 4 years). I would start out early on all the volunteer/shadow/research, but be flexible too; build relationships over time and see what opportunities present themselves (or you create for yourself). So, for volunteer, I'd get in early, start at 5-10 hrs/wk most weeks, and build rapport with MDs/staff and shadow the ones that align with your interest (and who can mentor well). Some weeks you'll do more than 10hrs, other weeks you'll do less. Id recommend for shadowing to observe some MDs consistently over a long time, and still others a short but near FT basis (e.g. summer rolls around, nearly glue yourself to the MD for 3 weeks; it's a totally different view of medicine than the far more plesant 3 hr/wk session). Same with research: get in early, but don't get too bogged down (maybe wait until sophomore year when you have a better bearing on college). Lastly, and most importantly, find some other things you like to do that aren't medicine/app related. They will give you depth of character and help you stand out a bit more (and honestly, they'll give you a peace of mind and pleasure amidst the chaos that life will through at you which no amount of forethought or scheduling can mitigate).
 

partypantss

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I think there's nothing wrong with setting concrete goals at the beginning of college, however I think you are overshooting a bit.. You are only a Freshmen, many many people in your shoes later find that school is harder for them than they expected. Don't spend 20 hours a week volunteering just for your app.. If you actually WANT to volunteer 20 hours every week during school then more power to you, but I seriously doubt that. Know that you will likely not be able to get that high GPA you want if you are spending all of this time volunteering/ researching/ getting clinical exposure/ working/ whatever.
 
Jun 30, 2015
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Medical Student (Accepted)
4.0 GPA
45 MCAT
10,000 hours volunteer
4 years of research, groundbreaking pubs
Captain of D1 football team (drafted first round in NFL draft)
Captain of D1 swim team
Captain of D1 basketball team (drafted first round in NBA draft)
Went to Kenya and cured cancer
Five star army general
Letter of recommendations from: some really prestigious doctor/Bill Clinton/Oprah/Jesus/Leonardo DiCaprio
HELP! I WAS DRAFTED 2ND ROUND NFL ARE MY DREAMS OF MED SCHOOL OVER??????????????????? LM ~85 10K+ HOURS VOLUNTEER
 

On Eagle's Wings

To Make Man Whole
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Here is my take on this:

GPA: 3.9
MCAT: 33
Shadowing: 50-100 hours in at least 5 specialties
Leadership position in at least 2 organizations, for at least 2 years each.
Research for at least 10 hours a week for at least 2 years, with multiple poster presentations.
Active involvement in different types of volunteering and community service (applicant's choice), 300+ hours
Volunteering at a hospital, 300+ hours
Peer tutoring or mentoring or working with disadvantaged kids, 100+ hours
At least 1 summer spent abroad on medical missions or research
Multiple medical mission trips to foreign lands
Play a musical instrument and be part of a music group
Be part of a unique club or organization for fun (forensics, literature, something for fun and that is unique)
Committee letter of recommendation
Recommendation of a physician

This lego-block type building will be a solid applicant for some CA schools and most mid-tier schools. This applicant will not be great for research-heavy institutions, but should get a lot of II from schools that stress service and training doctors to work with a diverse population or undeserved people. Basically schools that want to train great physician leaders for the community and abroad.
 
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Dr.Sticks

Dr.Sticks

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This reads like a satire of SDN neuroticism.

GPA isn't crazy...except when you're planning to somehow do part time research and also rack up 4,000 hours of volunteering. 520+ = 37+ = far higher than you need to feel good about your odds with the rest of app in order.
My last year of HS, junior year in order to gradaute I had to take English 12 at night, and Health online.(actually completed an entire health course in one sitting online got a mid range b I believe can't remember.. would have gotten an A if I didn't rush but whatever..)
Did fine, graduated. Also had to work on my mandatory "volunteer" hours..
I caught the bus at 8 and got home at 8pm
12 hour days, 4 days a weekc friday was a normal school day.

I learned a lot about time management from that experience.. It was brutal because I was unprepared. However, I am prepared now.. I learned how to manage my time.. I live my life by a spreadsheet literally, well at least plan to once college starts. I mapped it all out and included study sessions between classes and at certain times which would be mandatory for me. It all fits in my schedule so far. If you want PM me and I'll show you a screencap of my spreadsheet..
I could easily cut my volunteer work to only 4 hours a week or 3.. I do not want to though because I like giving back. It's very very enjoyable volunteering where I do currently.
(At the moment, I have saturday, and sunday free half day so I'll try to fit in some more volunteer work here) I also have about 6 hours free friday, have a 4 hour volunteer commitment, plan to study mostly.. I think I could do research in this slot, but this is fall schedule not spring and I plan to start in spring.

I think there's nothing wrong with setting concrete goals at the beginning of college, however I think you are overshooting a bit.. You are only a Freshmen, many many people in your shoes later find that school is harder for them than they expected. Don't spend 20 hours a week volunteering just for your app.. If you actually WANT to volunteer 20 hours every week during school then more power to you, but I seriously doubt that. Know that you will likely not be able to get that high GPA you want if you are spending all of this time volunteering/ researching/ getting clinical exposure/ working/ whatever.
Well, it's always great to over engineer your lego creation. That's how I view it.

Let me clarify for everyone what I mean by this whole lego stuff..
So my model for getting into medical school is legos..
I create a plan to engineer an ideal lego figure..
I want to over engineer it
But just because it is my plan for the lego doesn't mean it will happen that way

I could come across budget shortfalls, accidents, time constraints, and so forth. I think legos is a great way to approach getting into medical school..
Around junior year I will have to present to my client my knowledge(MCAT)
And then a review process will be held summer before senior year(application)

I just like to figure things in an imaginary way, in a hypothetical way.. Makes the whole process more understandable, enjoyable, and easy to work out.

So to sum it up.. Getting into Medical School is like building a lego, at least for me.. Will I get a 520 MCAT? who knows? will I achieve 4,000 volunteer hours? Who knows? I set my goals so high for a reason.. The more complex my engineering plan, the greater the product. If budget constraints happen, I'll still have a great product.
 

efle

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My last year of HS, junior year in order to gradaute I had to take English 12 at night, and Health online.(actually completed an entire health course in one sitting online got a mid range b I believe can't remember.. would have gotten an A if I didn't rush but whatever..)
Did fine, graduated. Also had to work on my mandatory "volunteer" hours..
I caught the bus at 8 and got home at 8pm
12 hour days, 4 days a weekc friday was a normal school day.

I learned a lot about time management from that experience.. It was brutal because I was unprepared. However, I am prepared now.. I learned how to manage my time.. I live my life by a spreadsheet literally, well at least plan to once college starts. I mapped it all out and included study sessions between classes and at certain times which would be mandatory for me. It all fits in my schedule so far. If you want PM me and I'll show you a screencap of my spreadsheet..
I could easily cut my volunteer work to only 4 hours a week or 3.. I do not want to though because I like giving back. It's very very enjoyable volunteering where I do currently.
(At the moment, I have saturday, and sunday free half day so I'll try to fit in some more volunteer work here) I also have about 6 hours free friday, have a 4 hour volunteer commitment, plan to study mostly.. I think I could do research in this slot, but this is fall schedule not spring and I plan to start in spring.


Well, it's always great to over engineer your lego creation. That's how I view it.

Let me clarify for everyone what I mean by this whole lego stuff..
So my model for getting into medical school is legos..
I create a plan to engineer an ideal lego figure..
I want to over engineer it
But just because it is my plan for the lego doesn't mean it will happen that way

I could come across budget shortfalls, accidents, time constraints, and so forth. I think legos is a great way to approach getting into medical school..
Around junior year I will have to present to my client my knowledge(MCAT)
And then a review process will be held summer before senior year(application)

I just like to figure things in an imaginary way, in a hypothetical way.. Makes the whole process more understandable, enjoyable, and easy to work out.

So to sum it up.. Getting into Medical School is like building a lego, at least for me.. Will I get a 520 MCAT? who knows? will I achieve 4,000 volunteer hours? Who knows? I set my goals so high for a reason.. The more complex my engineering plan, the greater the product. If budget constraints happen, I'll still have a great product.
Whether your schedule is manageable entirely depends on where you go for college and how many credits you take IMO. Be very careful thinking of the MCAT as a knowledge test.

A lot of the college experience is spontaneous. You want to leave lots of open time throughout the week so you can shuffle around your academic/study time when opportunities to go have fun arise. Setting yourself up to work nonstop save a free Friday evening is going to make you miss a lot of great times.
 

Oh_Gee

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Nov 15, 2013
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4.0 GPA
45 MCAT
10,000 hours volunteer
4 years of research, groundbreaking pubs
Captain of D1 football team (drafted first round in NFL draft)
Captain of D1 swim team
Captain of D1 basketball team (drafted first round in NBA draft)
Went to Kenya and cured cancer
Five star army general
Letter of recommendations from: some really prestigious doctor/Bill Clinton/Oprah/Jesus/Leonardo DiCaprio
what would Jesus' letterhead look like though
 
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Dr.Sticks

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Whether your schedule is manageable entirely depends on where you go for college and how many credits you take IMO. Be very careful thinking of the MCAT as a knowledge test.

A lot of the college experience is spontaneous. You want to leave lots of open time throughout the week so you can shuffle around your academic/study time when opportunities to go have fun arise. Setting yourself up to work nonstop save a free Friday evening is going to make you miss a lot of great times.
Well I'll explain my schedule then.. I engineered it for maximum flexibility..
So my classes don't start until 1:00pm
I do 3 days a week of volunteer work 3-4 hours currently
I can cancel any volunteer engagement no worries at all and the other 2 days I am free until 1..
Also I have two night classes.. So my only really packed days are Wednesday and Monday.. 1-7:45 class
But the rest of the days I'm done at 3:45
Being self employed helps a lot here.. but yeah.. that's how it will be for me this fall
A lot of my free slots will be spent studying and doing activities, and work
Plan to do some hiking or biking once a week or once every two weeks at least
 
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Dr.Sticks

Dr.Sticks

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Regarding the MCAT
I'm taking 18 credits this semester, and next for a reason.. So I can tone down my work load and allow more time to study
I plan to spend at least 6 months studying
I'll start prepping end of freshman year, take it sometime junior year
 

mehc012

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I thought this was going to be about a simplified interface/environment for building mobile apps, and I was super excited. Instead it's just more neuroticism :(
 
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Cyberdyne 101

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Hmm

Not sure how doable 10,000 hours would be..
4,000 is my ideal really though.. It turns out to be 20 hours of volunteer work a week. Not a lot considering the fact you could do 30 during summer..
Fortunately I'm self employed so I got more time.
But hey if you can juggle 53 hours of volunteer work a week along with classes and everything that's awesome!! I know I couldn't! I'd need some time for my hobbies like hiking .
Did the joke mess up your hair when it flew over your head, OP?
 
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narvik2016

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I am so glad I have already graduated from undergrad. Woof! God bless all the frosh pre-meds out there.
 

tenblackalps

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If I was to build this like legos, I would have extensive volunteer work, research, leadership experience, 3.8+ gpa, and a MCAT of at least 520
I think ideally I should have at least 3,000 clinical volunteer hours, and 1500 non-clinical volunteer hours. Volunteer work that actually means something to me btw, not just to get into medical school..
OP you propose an analogy then don't build on it it all, I am disappointed :p Assuming you are talking about minifigures, which part is the head? The hair? The legs? The arms? How about the face? I propose something like this for the face:



That's for the 4,000 volunteer hours!
 
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Dr.Sticks

Dr.Sticks

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I think if I sell lego stethoscopes the med schools will give me an automatic acceptance..